Thursday, January 13, 2011

[USS Charon] SD241101.13. || Joint Backlog "Legend" Part II || Capt Shiarrael t`Rehu, Spock

[Shi'Kahr, Artisan Quarter]

 19th Day in the month of Tasmeen, YS 9022



A young woman with tightly braided hair came hurrying with an extra chair, set it down by the table and rushed on, but not without favoring the two figures standing in the dim light with a most courteous tip of her head.

"Ruanek recommends the aypihl today. And his hlai tends to meet with great approval."

The Vulcan sat down with effortless grace, steepling his fingers under his chin. Old his eyes might be, but to one of his kind eyesight was not something you desperately depended upon.


"So here at last is my old friend Captain Kiurrk. Perhaps I will just call you 'Captain'; for it does not do to mishandle names. Yours, though, I think I can say, estranged though our languages are."


Not quite as tiny as the woman who had spoken those words had been, nor as old. But there was a similar sense of pride and danger, and a silent grief enveloping her as a shroud of darkness.

"I am Spock." He stated simply.


Shiarrael cocked her head in disbelief and then dismissed Ruanek with a simple half wave as she pulled out a seat and sat down across from the old Vulcan.  "Spock?"  She smirked "are you telling me I am seated in front of such a legend?  Elements I do not believe it.  To be honest I thought you dead.  Of course, my people do not speak of you much.  There is a great deal of dislike of you among us." 


The elder Vulcan sat motionless and even another of his kind would have been hard put to detect a faint trace of amusement in the dark gaze. "Legend. How interesting a Rihanha would use this particular term."

Just as dislike was rather understating the matter, but the silver haired male seemed prepared to let it stand as such. "Nor are you required to believe, Madam. You are, after all, only here to enjoy a meal." The quiet energy radiating off the Vulcan seemed to intensify for an instant and then recede, like a solar flare flashing into the endless night, come and gone in the blink of an eye.


 'So rare … and so beautiful.'

'What are you that you would do such a thing?'

'First Officer of the Enterprise…'

'And where is she now? Wandering somewhere in space, or living alone on some wretched exile-world, alone among aliens? How should I not hate those who did such a thing to her?'


What was he doing here, of all places? In the company of Rihannsu, appreciating their cuisine? Only he knew. And none ever dared ask.


Pressing her palms into the table Shiarrael leaned forward "Spock- the atmosphere here leaves much to be desired.  Is the cooking even authentic?  I find it difficult to believe this imposter is able to adequately represent my people's cuisine."  Her eyes flickered to the corner where they snapped a gaze at a passing Ruanek "how long has it been since you fled Romulus?  I was never party to the whole story.  Then again- such tales should often remain untold."  She slid back into her seat "I am afraid the nostalgia threatens to overwhelm me here.  Each day I grow weary and long for a homeworld I may never see again."


"Oh, it is authentic." In any other species, the lazy flicker of heavy eyelids might have been a smirk. But even an expert on Nevasa's children might have had to look twice. "You need not judge young Ruanek harshly. He was born in exile to a father who chose mnei'sahe above personal gain, and would have chosen death had not … well meaning friends intervened. I believe you may be familiar with such a fate."

The same unobtrusive young woman who had found a chair for their illustrious guest floated past and carefully placed a menu before the Riov with the astonishing violet eyes before carefully refilling the ambassador's water. The latter for his part simply continued to study the younger woman over steepled fingers, unmoved and unmovable to any watcher.

"And they should, Madam. Besides, the tale you speak of would be a long time in the telling."

Someone as torn as she was and as whole as she was … someone powerfully rooted in another life, a heart's life – based around a planet where he could hardly ever walk …


"Indeed it would."  Shiarrael smiled, a wily expression if ever and set her eyes to the menu.  After a moment of exam she folded the book close and waved the woman over "nothing fancy- a simple roasted hlai with a glass of Rhennish will suit my tastes tonight."  She looked at the elder statesman as the woman departed with her order "and what would an old thaessu know of mnei'sahe?"


'One moment. Lieutenant Kerasus- mneh'-what?'

'Mnei'sahe' she said promptly 'Captain, I'm sorry but you would ask me to render one of the most difficult words in the language. It's not quite honor – and not quite loyalty – and not quite anger, or hatred, or about fifty other things. It can be a form of hatred that requires you to give your last drop of water to a thirsty enemy – or an act of love that requires you to kill a friend…'


What would Spock of Vulcan know of the Ruling Passion.

What would any Vulcan know of silent humor, melancholy, memories that were as close today as they were a century ago. What would a child of Nevasa know of love that burns, hatred colder than ice, loyalty that is as a burning ember which consumes you from within, never to be extinguished.

What would he know of the Sundered, long lost sisters and brothers, so fiercely denying that after all is said and done, the echo of their untamed forbearers still beat in their blood like the war drums of old. What would he know … of passion.


"Tell me, Riov. When you decided to risk your ship, your crew, your life and that of your children to save a world that means nothing to you …" the old Vulcan seemed to tilt his head sideways a mere fraction, or perhaps it was merely a trick of light rather than a silently amused or inquisitive gesture "… was it the Starfleet Captain making a rational decision? When your Second betrayed her own kind to bring you proof of T'Pelar's lies and put her S'thora, her ship above all she was taught … was it a Vulcan being reasonable?"


A thin strand of breath slipped between pursed lips as she gazed at the Vulcan.  Shiarrael's violet eyes glimmered in the dimness as they strayed from the Vulcan's own towards a flickering lantern across the far wall.  A sly grin appeared on her face as she twisted her gaze back towards the decrepit man.  "Forgive me, I was rude, Captain."

She sat back as the woman returned and set the plate of roasted hlai in front of her.  The bottle of rhennish, on ice, was placed near the center of the table.  Shiarrael lifted her fork and twisted apart the tender meat.  She held the morsel in the air and simply stared at it- her heart ached as nostalgia enveloped her "my grandfather was fond of this dish."  She finally slipped the fork into her mouth pulling the morsel away from the utensil using her front teeth.  She chewed slowly and then swallowed hard.


"Not at all, Riov." The gravelly voice was as level as ever, though a keen listener might have detected a hint of patient humor in the deep baritone. "There is no offense where none is taken."

The old Vulcan watched seemingly unmoved as the Rihanha subjected her food to a long look and a whirlwind of emotions flickered across her elegant features.

Her grandfather. Logic suggested it was not Jamor tr`Sahen she was speaking of.

"It is apparent that a fondness for well prepared hlai is not the only thing you share, Madam."

For starters, there was that chin – exquisitely chiseled and still giving the impression of steel, and the prevalent air of a tethered hawk silently studying its surroundings. If ever she attained the hallmark of her ancestor, that dangerous patience to let nervous opponents make a fatal mistake … some people in the Empire might regret the day they made an enemy of her.


Shiarrael took one final bite of the dish and as if some bitterness had suddenly set in she set her utensil onto the plate and pushed it away.  "There has been enough reminiscing this night."  She then dipped her head in a half bow "it has been an interesting night- and certainly an honor to meet someone who has angered my people so."  She picked up the bottle of rhennish and then pointed at it "however- I will not return alone tonight.  It would be a true shame to leave such a thing unfinished."  She glanced at the label and grinned- AAnikh 2340, it was a good year.  With a final nod she turned and left. 


The old Vulcan inclined his head silently and watched the slim figure disappear in the throng of guests. An interesting night indeed …


'Spock asked me to make his farewells for him' Jim said

'He is a prize, that one,' she said 'All the Elements walk beside you in him. Take all care of him – and thank him well for me.'

'I will.'


Angered them, fought them, fought beside them … all that and so much more. How else? It was a family matter after all.


McCoy let out an annoyed breath 'I thought I told you no lifting.'

Gurrhim chuckled and ignored him, putting the chair down by the Empty one. Ael turned and was about to sit down in it, when a voice said 'One moment, Madam.' Spock's voice.

Everyone turned to look. Then suddenly there was a great pushing back out of his way and many of the Senators craned their necks to see what was coming – and stepped back when they saw.

Through the middle of the Senate came Spock, holding something dark in his hands. The whole room rose as they saw it and recognized it as what it was; another S'harien, his family's heirloom, cousin to the Sword itself. Spock stopped in front of Ael as she stood in front of her own chair, and held the sheathed sword up.

Around them on the Senate floor, dead silence reigned. In a single swift and economical gesture, Spock unsheathed the S'harien. In all that sudden quiet, the sound echoed fiercely, and the light from the piercing in the roof glinted blindingly on the steel. In Spock's hands, the sword looked most improbably deadly.

Then he sheathed it again. 'Madam, it is better that these two should be together. Let one be for the past, if you will, and the other for the future. The one may rest, and the other may be used.'


Vulcans don't subscribe to foreboding. But they recognize a change of the wind with the honed instincts of a race for whom the shifting of a few molecules of air can mean the difference between life and death. Not to mention they have a long, long memory.

Right now, the smile that was not there but still made the candlelight flicker in an old Vulcan's eyes would have caused a select few people to become just a little … worried.



[End Log]


Captain Shiarrael t'Rehu
Commanding Officer
USS Charon







Author's note:

The flashbacks are verbatim excerpts from the TOS episode "The Enterpise Incident" and Diane Duane's marvelous books "Spock's World" , "My Enemy, My Ally" and "The Empty Chair"